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Articles by Dale Chappell

Warden Turns Whistleblower, Claims Misconduct, Retaliation by Colorado’s DOC Director

by Dale Chappell

In October 2018, a warden who blew the whistle on an illegal hazardous-waste dumping scandal involving the head of Colorado’s prison system filed a lawsuit to compel the state to share the results of its investigations. 

Angel Medina, former warden of the Cañon Minimum Centers – ...

Middlesex County, New Jersey Settles Solitary Confinement Suit

by Dale Chappell

In September 2018, Middlesex County, New Jersey agreed to settle a civil rights lawsuit and give prisoners held in a secure housing unit more freedom. 

“It’s no longer possible to lock someone in solitary confinement and throw away the key,” Deputy Public Defender ...

New York: Federal Court Certifies Class-Action Suit Against Jail for Providing Insufficient Diet

by Dale Chappell 

In August 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York certified a class-action lawsuit against the Montgomery County jail (MCJ) for providing prisoners with a sub-standard diet after several prisoners complained they became ill due to deficiencies in the amount of ...

Women Prisoners Disciplined More than Men, but Staff Training is Changing That

by Dale Chappell

According to an October 2018 news report, women prisoners are disciplined more often than male prisoners – two to three times more – and often receive harsher punishments. But updated staff training and new laws are helping to address that disparity.

Since 1980, the population of women ...

Ex-Prisoner Awarded $1.06 Million for Sexual Assault by Former Nebraska Jailer

by Dale Chappell

A federal court in Nebraska awarded an ex-prisoner over $1 million in a lawsuit against a former guard who was convicted of sexually assaulting her and other women at the Phelps County jail in June 2012.

While being held at the jail for allegedly writing bad checks ...

Executive Order Prompts BOP to Expand Prison Apprenticeship Programs

by Dale Chappell

An executive order issued by President Donald Trump has prompted the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to develop “National Standards of Apprenticeship” to expand apprenticeship programs for federal prisoners, according to an April 10, 2018 post on the BOP’s website ...

“Prisoner of Weed” Released, Sets Sights on Criminal Justice Reform

by Dale Chappell

The man dubbed a POW (“prisoner of weed”) by his supporters was finally released from a Louisiana prison in February 2018 following public outcry over his harsh 13-year sentence for possession of about two joint’s worth of marijuana. He served around eight years and now wants to ...

California Prison Psychologist Blows Whistle on LGBTQ Harassment, Settles Lawsuit for Retaliation

by Dale Chappell

A prison psychologist who filed a complaint under the California Whistleblower Protection Act alleging blatant abuse by state prison guards against LGBTQ prisoners has agreed to settle her lawsuit and resign.

Dr. Lori Jespersen, who had worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) since ...

Report Shows 50 New York Prisoners Died from Inadequate Medical Care in Last Five Years

by Dale Chappell

A 2018 report by a New York State medical review board charged with reviewing prisoner deaths determined that at least 50 state prisoners had died within the past five years due to insufficient medical care. The board concluded that the deaths could have been prevented with simple ...

Washington County, School District Pay $265,000 for Holding Juveniles in Solitary

by Dale Chappell

In August 2018, King County, Washington agreed to pay $240,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by four juveniles who were placed in solitary confinement at the county’s Regional Justice Center (RJC) in Kent. The settlement includes policy changes to ensure juvenile offenders are not held in ...